Response to recent conversation

Atlanta Forward readers responded to last week’s columns by state Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, and Eli Hogan, a 17-year-old from Cartersville who suffers from Crohn’s Disease. Here are some select comments:

ND: "Marijuana is a gateway drug" is a telltale sign that the author doesn't have a clue what she's talking about.

Laurie: Sharon Cooper is a politician who gets campaign money from Southern Baptists and drug companies. I'll go with Dr. Gupta; my hubby who deals with chronic nerve pain that has pretty much taken over our lives; and people like Eli Hogan, who are truly seeking a natural viable remedy for the medical issues they face.

Kristi: Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a world renowned neurosurgeon and professor who is more than qualified to dissect the research and overwhelming anecdotal evidence that cannabis oil is an effective treatment option for epilepsy and many other conditions. Over 200 children are currently using this medicine and seeing positive results without a single negative side effect in two years. This cannot be said for the FDA-approved medications that are pushed on our children, often creating a zombie effect or risking their lives. With a 171-4 vote in the House of Representatives and unanimous vote in the Senate committee hearing, it is evident that Rep. Cooper is in a small minority that believes this bill is a "road to hell." She obviously has not had to experience the hell that these children and families experience daily by the seizures that ravage their brains and paralyze the entire family — the seizures that cause so much harm that families are uprooting their lives to go to Colorado, leaving their support systems and spending their life savings just to find a little relief. It should also be noted that Rep. Cooper voted in favor of this bill … twice.

John: I have a question for all those folks who want to make only the oil legal for use. What gives you the right to determine the best way for me to ingest my medication? If you aren't arguing the actual therapeutic value of this wonderful resource, what gives you the extreme arrogance to think that you can dictate to me how I should ingest the natural substance that improves the quality of my life?

James Bell: Rep. Sharon Cooper is bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical industries. She is being supported by the same drug makers that the parents claim are harming their children. After 16 years of legal battles and appeals, the Drug Enforcement Administration's Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis Young found, "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances know to man. … Marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record."

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